Who? The Wildcats of Kentucky.
Where? Lexington, Kentucky, which is fiercely protective of its horse farms.
When? March 17th, in Ames, Iowa.
How? They were an at-large selection.
Partner: McNeese State, of the Southland Conference.
Surprise? The SEC regular-season champion does usually get to go dancing.
Record: 25-6 (13-3 SEC)
Good wins: Louisville, Duke.
Bad losses: at Alabama
Who’s running this show? Matthew Mitchell, since 2007, described as a “whirlwind salesman”.
Extra, Extra! The Lexington Herald-Leader.
For the Wildcats, it starts with star junior A’dia Mathies, the team’s leading scorer at 15.7 points per game; she also pulls down 5.3 rebounds (just over half offensive) and snags 2.7 steals. Freshman Bria Goss adds 11.2 points. Sophomore Samarie Walker, the UConn transfer, grabs 6.5 boards a game; when she was first eligible after transferring, it looked like Kentucky wasn’t sure how to integrate her, and I don’t know whether they’ve solved that yet.
It’s a good thing for the Wildcats that they force a lot of turnovers- 28.2 per game- because they average 17.3. Only senior guard Amber Smith has a positive A/TO. Kentucky can be rough to play against, but Kentucky can also be streaky.